Had I known what was to come, I'd have stayed home for some R&R instead ...
The day started out well, even though my roommate and I got split up from the start. I was still signing my contract for the rental as we were leaving the dock, and he left a few minutes ahead of me.
I couldn't find him once I got away from the docks, but I figured he'd headed over to the Hoover Dam to check out the view since that's what we were planning on doing.
Apparently I overshot the Dam...guess it wasn't big enough for me to see. But I was having so much fun jet skiing through canyons and finding new coves that I just kept going. I took a break for a little while and headed back in the direction I came from ...
Or so I thought. I came across a harbor, but kept going when I realized it wasn't the Las Vegas Boat Harbor (strangely named, as it's 40 minutes from Vegas). I didn't see anyone for about 40 minutes, and realized that I was starting to get low on gas.
Eventually I came across a family who was wakeboarding. I asked them how to get to my harbor and got a strange look. After trying to give me directions he asked, "You got enough gas to get back?" Of course I didn't, but more importantly I started to realize that maybe I was a bit further astray than I had thought.
He directed me back to a harbor that I'd soon learn was the one I'd just found and left. Within a mile of heading back towards the harbor the gas light came on, accompanied by eardrum-piercingly loud beep in case you happen to be operating your jet ski from outer friggin' space.
I manage to get to the "Temple Bar" harbor within minutes of what I have to imagine was going to be me stranded with no cell phone (left it in car because those compartments on board are definitely NOT waterproof) while waving that stupid orange flag while I watch the water flow and no one go by.
While fueling up and asking to see a map, I learn that:
a) I'm in Arizona
b) my rental is due in thirty minutes
c) the gas attendant estimates return time to be "three hours, maybe two and a half"
To make a long story short, it wasn't quite that bad. I gassed up, bought a map, and headed out. Apparently the attendant had never take a jet ski at full throttle for about 60-70 straight miles. I made it back in about 1:40, ended up paying an extra $140 for being late, and only missed the 5pm online tournaments while still making the $1k.
Next time I think I'll just bring a map with me to begin with ...
-- Matt Stout